Jeff DeGolier: Southwest Jalopy

Now on view at SOFA gallery, a DIY space in the living room of an Austin apartment, is the work of Jeff DeGolier. This pairing is fitting since both the artist and gallery make due with what is on hand. DeGolier, who is based in Brooklyn, came to Austin for a week and harvested bric-a-brac from trash piles and swap meets. Day by day, he assembled a sculpture at the center of the room that runs from floor to ceiling. Hung on the walls are a few digital prints based on similar assemblage sculptures.

The sculpture starts with the ceiling fan that becomes a source of electricity for a faux hearth made of a painted tire and an illuminated white plastic bag as well as some small fans with flashing blue lights, typically used to trick out computers like low riders. Pompoms, plastic hangers and a mop head are also carefully assembled in a way that approaches a kind of ritualized fetish object for our American consumerist wasteland.

This space of assemblage, in which objects hang, pivot and tilt, is flattened and framed in the prints. Color is heightened and patterns emerge to quote the psychedelic without falling into the traps of its potential sentimentality. What holds this work in check is the intensity of its realism and directness combined with a quirky specificity of craft. Like many of the artists in the New Museum’s 2008 exhibition Unmonumental DeGolier dispenses with slick expensive production in favor of the quotidian, making this living room both extraordinary and accessible.